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MLK's Speech Notes

In these speech notes, Dr. King references the plight of the Jewish community in the Soviet Union and the silent betrayal of onlookers. John Donne is quoted in his famous excerpt, "No man is an island entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."


Dr. King paraphrases the teachings of Amos about sin. Dr. King writes that Amos condemns Israel for the sins of bribery, oppression of the poor by the rich, sexual immorality and the "self-indulgent use of what has been wrung from the helpless."

Letter from A Republican to MLK

Monday, January 22, 1968

Signing as "A Republican," the writer informs Dr. King that the draft for the war is the Democrats' method of using blacks for involuntary servitude. This information is to serve as support of the writer's belief that the Democrats will "return the negroes to slavery."

Letter from Dora McDonald to H. D. Bollinger

Thursday, September 24, 1964

Dora McDonald writes Dr. Bollinger accepting an invitation on Dr. King's behalf. Ms. McDonald explains that Dr. King will be able to attend the conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, but he will not be traveling alone, so they will need to prepare travel expenses for two.

Letter from Brown University Chaplain Julius S. Scott Jr. to MLK Regarding a Visit

Tuesday, February 1, 1966

Julius Scott, Acting Chaplain at Brown University, acknowledges Dr. King's tentative acceptance of an invitation to preach at the university. Scott expresses his satisfaction with the response and his hopes that Dr. King will be available to visit during the time period specified.

Letter from Thomas Johnson to MLK

Thomas Johnson, managing editor for 'The Forum' at Fisk University, explains that a new chapter of SNCC has recently been charted at the school. Johnson also requests that Dr. King write an editorial for their next publication.


Dr. King references French social commentator Montesquieu regarding his ideas on history. King quotes, "He attempts to show how civilization has been modified by the action of the external world."

Class Notes: Joshua

This eleven card series features Biblical verses from the Book of Joshua which Dr. King references under specific subject titles. The section titles range from "Knowledge" to "Passages for Homiletical Use."

Memorandum from Theodore E. Brown Regarding 1968 Trip to Nigeria

Tuesday, February 27, 1968

Theodore E. Brown, the director of the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa, reports the results of his recent trip to Nigeria to members of the Call Committee.

Letter from Frazer Earle to MLK

Monday, November 16, 1964

Frazer Earle, a member of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews Inc., extends Dr. King a second invitation to their Annual Banquet. Mr. Earle informs Dr. King that his acceptance to this invitation will allow him to meet with the students, the press, the religious community, and businessmen.

Schleiermacher (Dogmas & Creeds)

Dr. King references Friedrich Schleiermacher's notions of dogmas and creeds, stating that they are mere descriptions of feeling.

Letter from Rita Machelle Foster to MLK

Wednesday, January 30, 1963

Rita Machelle Foster, an eighth grade student a Harvard Elementary School, requests any information or documentation provided by Dr. King for her composition on Negro History Week. Ms. Foster asks that Dr. King provide a photograph and discuss the James Meredith situation.

Theory of Perception in the Light of the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness

Dr. King examines Alfred North Whitehead's "fallacy of misplaced concreteness" as described in "Science and the Modern World."

American Negro Corporation Plan

This document is a plan created by Sterling B. Conaway. The purpose was to create a business organization for Negro professionals to invest in their future. This document also outlines the purpose and priorities of the organization.

Address to the National Bar Association

Thursday, August 20, 1959

Dr. King shares with the National Bar Association of Milwaukee, the history of segregation and why African Americans fight for equality.

Statement by MLK Regarding His Five-Day Jail Sentence in Birmingham

Monday, October 30, 1967

Dr. King releases a statement regarding his return to Birmingham, Alabama to serve a five-day jail sentence. He states that he is happy to serve the sentence, but sad that the Supreme Court did not "uphold the rights of individual citizens." He also questions why the United States' resources are being used to fund the Vietnam War rather than to help the poor.

Financial Statement Regarding "Stride Toward Freedom"

Sunday, December 31, 1961

In this document, the number of books that were sold during the six month period to December 1961 are shown.

People In Action: The Role of the Church

Dr. King discusses the issues of segregation and the role of the church in rectifying the situation.

DeWolf L. Harold: RRR (1949)

Dr. King references Harold DeWolf's book "The Religious Revolt Against Reason."

Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Jaggart to MLK

Friday, July 14, 1967

Mr and Mrs. C. Jaggart express how much they enjoyed one of Dr. King's messages.

Letter to MLK from Philip L. Estrada about Operation Breadbasket Milwaukee

Phillip Estrada, the editor of the Milwaukee Star News, request Dr. King's presence in support of the Breadbasket Operation. Estrada describes this growing organization as one that has made an impression on Milwaukee. He hopes that Dr. King will deliver words of encouragement to keep the morale up and to show his support.

Letter from Carolyn Martinelli to Ralph Abernathy After the Death of MLK

Saturday, April 13, 1968

Mrs. Martinelli writes Rev. Abernathy in the month following Dr. King's death, encouraging him to continue promoting a philosophy of love and equality. Martinelli identifies herself as a white housewife, teacher and mother of two, who has only known three Negroes in her whole life. . Although she has never known poverty, her desire is for all Americans to know the truth and work to resolve these problems in society.

Letter from Helen White to MLK

Monday, July 31, 1967

Ms. White seeks the opinion of Dr. King for her research on American Aristocracy.

Letter from Andrew Young to Harry Belafonte

Monday, February 28, 1966

Andrew J. Young writes Harry Belafonte applauding him on his television show "The Strolling Twenties." Unlike average shows, Belafonte delivers "high calibre performances" with the ability to articulate the realities of the American Negro. Young further expresses hope that the 1966 Freedom Festival in Chicago has a similar effect.

Telegram to MLK from Wolfgang Grimmig

Dr. King gets invited to a lecture tour that will take place during the spring of 1966.

Letter from Massachusetts Mental Health Center to MLK

Tuesday, January 16, 1962

Drs. Myron Sharaf and Milton Greenblatt invite Dr. King to speak at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Mental Health where the staff and researchers share an interest in ending "hate in social life."

Letter from Robert S. Browne to MLK

Monday, April 10, 1967

Robert S. Browne informs Dr. King that he disagrees with the editor the New York Times. Browne conveys his support to Dr. King for his nonviolent philosophy.

Letter from MLK to Dr. William H. Allen regarding kind letter

Tuesday, October 15, 1968

Dr. King sent this thank you letter to Dr. William Allen for the prayers and well wishes expressed to Dr. King, as he recovered from a nearly fatal stabbing in Harlem in 1958. He also conveyed to Dr. Allen that he had been making great progress in his health and anticipated rejoining those working hard in the fight for equality.

Letter from MLK to Reverend Earl C. Scott

Thursday, September 13, 1962

Dr. King writes Reverend Earl C. Scott expressing appreciation for his words of encouragement and providing Reverend Scott with information regarding his current work towards social justice.

Comments on John F. Kennedy by MLK at the Berlin Festival

Sunday, September 13, 1964

Dr. King gave this speech at the Berlin Freedom Festival in Berlin, West Germany, in memorial to the recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Dr. King reflects on the personality, achievements and enormous influence Kennedy had on the world. He highlights Kennedy's commitment to international human rights, which included recognition of Negro rights, and his leadership in concluding the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty.